The Opioid Epidemic
and Process Theology
There's always hope. God does not and cannot control your life,
but God is a healing presence in your life. You can cooperate
with this presence and become the self you want to be.
Has Opioid Abuse Affected You?
Readers respond to NY Times Query (Jan. 6, 2017)
‘I’ve struggled with anxiety since I can remember’
‘I am a heroin addict’
"A searing, two-hour investigation places America’s heroin crisis in a fresh and provocative light -- telling the stories of individual addicts, but also illuminating the epidemic's years-in-the-making social context, deeply examining shifts in U.S. drug policy, and exploring what happens when addiction is treated like a public health issue, not a crime."
A Role for Faith:
see also Twenty Key Ideas in Process Thought
We need to know more than that someone has taken a drug that he likes. We need to know about the rest of his life, his social support, his mental illness, education, employment, as well as his values and sense of meaning.
-- Maya Svalavitz, Addiction Research: All Brain and No Soul?
There is a spirit of creative transformation in the world -- a healing energy -- which can help us overcome our addictions. This spirit is mediated by people who are clean and sober, and who care for us. Their care is how we meet the spirit.
But the spirit is also more than these people. It comes from the heart of the universe and is seen in the hills and rivers, the trees and stars. When we find ourselves grateful for the beauty of the natural world, we are experiencing the spirit.
And this spirit is also inside us, deep inside our own hearts, beckoning us to enter into a new life. But the spirit needs our cooperation in order to be effective. It is powerful but not all-powerful. We cannot become clean unless we learn to trust it and give ourselves to it, however we might name it, and then take practical steps, day by day, with help from others, to regain our lives and serve the greater good of the world, sharing our talents with others. In process theology this spirit is called God. Never is it coercive but always it is healing. It becomes ever more enfleshed in the world when we become our true and better selves.
To learn more about how process theologians understand God, see Panentheism: The Universe as God's Body.
Spirituality and Addiction
Words of wisdom from a process-oriented priest
A Poem for Addicts
On its way through the innocent night,
Reflection by Rev. Teri Daily
Most of us don’t intend to be lured off the pathways of our lives and become glued to a window. We don’t wake up in the morning and think, “Hey, I’m going to fall in love and have an affair” or “I’m going to become so obsessed with money that I break every financial law to get my hands on it” or “I’m going to build my life around the serenity (or excitement) that a chemical substance brings me.” Instead, we see a warm light in the distance and our curiosity is piqued, our imagination is ignited. We step first an inch off the path and then a yard, until our face is pressed against the window and everything else in the world is drowned out by its light.
Finding a Treatment Center Near You
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